I would like to start a discussion on alternative energy options.
What are the options available?
What are the costs?
Solar,water,wave energy,cold fusion,Plasma,zero point energy,wind power,electric/battery,free energy etc......
What are the initial setup costs and ongoing costs?
What are the emissions if any?
Are we to consider alternative sources to provide energy 24/7 or just the supply sources of intermittent energy? If the discussion is created to consider replacement for coal as the usual suspect for part of Global Warming, then is nuclear an Alternative Energy Option? As a (Rtd) Engineering Risk Surveyor, the title is of great interest now that energy costs are expected to quadruple. I trust you may see that each source of alternative electric energy is a field of both scientific consensus, established fact and application. Good Luck
What a great idea. Maybe, Geoff, you could, would you, consider moving this Discussion into the Think Tank? Better home for it there, methinks.
Would natural gas fall into the 'alternative' category?
The much maligned Wilson Tuckey MP, by maligned I refer to the abuse and denigration he suffered at the hands of the PM et al, when he mentioned the dangers and the potential of importing terrorists among the Tamil boat people, which has now been shown to be true. Of course Wilson hasn't received an apology.
Wilson has done a lot of research on alternative energy sources. I bet he knows more about hydrogen cars than most of us and all of Parliament.
He was on the radio recently talking about tidal power in the north of WA, (6m tides) and how the (French) technology is available now to harness that power, sufficient base power, I think he said, for WA, SA and Vic.
From the other side of the political spectrum, Grahame Campbell, former Labor Member for Kal, has worked with farmers to develop a plan to drain salt water from the wheatbelt and without the use of pumps, transport it to the top of the Darling Scarpe and, literally, drop it over the edge. The power generated by the falling water would be sufficient to power desalination units (reverse osmosis relies on pressure) and in the second stage, the next drop, drive hydro electric turbines.
According to Campbell's numbers, WA would be over supplied with fresh water and again have some very cheap and constant energy just from this one source.
Of course we in WA, like others, are busy building desalination plants and conventional power stations.
I will drop Wilson a line and ask if he will contribute, and if I can find an address for GC, I will do the same.Make an interesting alliance those two.
Sorry to detract Geoff and Roger - an aside. Tesla also designed and developed an engine, steam driven, composed of circular discs mounted on a shaft and enclosed within a circular chamber with close tolerance between each disc held by a spacer and the edge of the disc to the chamber. Each horizontal manifold on both sides of the chamber to feed the steam to all the discs was valved to control steam delivery for speed both forward and reverse ( braking) as the steam impinged on the surface of the discs and a drain in the bottom recovered the condensate. The size of a lady's hat box, it delivered 35 shaft horsepower at 135 pounds of steam. A team of engineering enthusiasts here built a demonstration model out of CD's, the surfaces of each abraded to increase the surface tension for compressed air at 80 p.s.i to run a bicycle generator. ( steam heat distorted the discs and then it refused to move) . Not many know that Tesla is credited with the electric motor either. The answers are out there, someone just has to find them.
Cheers from Bob Stewart
Geoff, I'm 80 and an engineering thinker for almost 60 years. In that time so much has been found and I am convinced that the answers for our tomorrow are out there. Good Luck with this - a great subject
What about Stirling Engines? How about a small Stirling Engine under the bonnet of every car making use of the waste heat? Also in industry, must be lots of processes that involve waste heat?
Also there was a segment on 'The Inventors' about a guy who had developed a hydraulic accumulator for truck braking. Nobody in Australia was interested but the US Defence Department were involved in some research.
Lastly with cars such as the Toyota Prius why can't they put a small solar pv cell, the sort you buy at camping stores, on the back parcel tray and be recharging your battery while you are parked?
Hey Colin glad you joined.
Waste heat use I like it sounds interesting and yes I agree there must be so much waste heat in industry.
Also think about the wasted water when the top end has its wet season,shame that couldnt be funnelled inland.
Ion edress in his book "Flynn of the Inland" spoke of this aparently Flynn had an idea of using the natural valleys through the mountains to channel water to inland resovoirs and create usable land now wouldnt that be great. Think of how when you look at Australia we are pretty well stuck on or near the coast.
My Father funnily enough spoke about Hydraulic Accumulator's when I was visiting him at christmas
excellent concept he said didn't take off in Australia,shame.
I took a look at the stirling article what a brilliant idea reusing older technology and then adapting it with solar.
There has been alot of really great technology that has been squashed by big oil/bussiness.
I am sure that if we installed enough Stirling Engine powered generators in Canberra, we could power the whole country! :-)
As for watering the Red Centre, well there is always the Bradfield Scheme, what about bringing water down from the top end? You already have the right of way of the Ghan, just lay a pipe alongside. Pump the water using solar powered pumps, who cares if they stop at night, just need some check valves in the pipe to stop backflow, we could change to the 'Green Centre'.